Facebook Frequently Asked Question: Strengthening Arms and Legs

 

 

 

 

 

Although I’m a personal trainer in the Vancouver, Washington area, I do also frequently get asked questions. They come to me from all over the country, as well as some from close to home. One of the questions I recently got from Karen M. is one that I often get from people.

Karen, like so many others, contacted me through Facebook in order to ask about how she can go about strengthening her arms and legs. She is retired now and looking for a way to build up strength. While she’s looking for a few good pointers, they can also be helpful to others who are seniors, retired, or who are baby boomers looking for a way to build up strength.

First of all, let’s look at a few of the reasons why it is important to build up the strength in your arms and legs. It doesn’t matter how young or old someone is, it is important to have strong arm and leg muscles. When you build the muscles in your arms and legs you will be able to perform activities more easily, such as biking, walking, taking the stairs, or whatever it may happen to be. Being fit and strong is also going to help you avoid injury, give you more speed, and as a senior it is going to continue to ensure you will have more independence.

Having muscle strength in your arms and legs is going to help you maintain your range of motion as you age. Once you retire, if you end up sitting around not doing anything your muscles are going to atrophy, or weaken. It is crucial that if you want to live good healthy retirement years that you build muscles in your arms and legs and you maintain them as you continue to age.

So what can you do to build that muscle and maintain it? First, I suggest working with a personal trainer, such as myself, so that I can put you on a program that is tailored to you and your lifestyle. Beyond that step, I would suggest you combine total body conditioning with strengthening your core muscles. Add in the arm and leg exercises to your already existing workout. A few things you can do include:

  • Take a barbell and do some walking curls with it. Start with a comfortable weight, but increase it over time. You will want to do 6 sets of this, with 8-10 reps per set.
  • You are familiar with sit-ups, but try the “chopper” sit-ups. To do this you will get in the sit-up form, come up as you normally would, but you will take your right hand and reach it over to touch the floor on your left side. Do the same with the other side. For this, do 6 sets that have 10-15 reps per set.
  • Start a routine of doing push-ups in order to help build your arms. Be sure to check out my post that explains how to start a push-up routine and build your arm strength.

These are a good way to get you started on building the strength in your arms and legs. As you age it is essential to maintain your strength. Working out each week is the only way to help you get there. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area and would like to work with a personal trainer who can set you up on a plan just for you, be sure to contact me.

For more ways to strengthen your arms and legs CLICK HERE

Facebook Frequently Asked Question: How to Get Motivated

Whether I am taking questions from my followers on Facebook, or meeting up with my personal training clients in the Vancouver, Washington area, many have similar concerns. One recent question that I received from a Lisa H. on Facebook involved getting back into shape after not exercising for so long. Perhaps you can relate!

Lisa explained that she hasn’t worked out in years, and although she used to be in great shape, she has gained a significant amount of weight over the years. Like many people, she plans to start a new routine each Monday, only to not see it through. So she wants to know how to get out of the cycle so that she can make her way back to a healthy lifestyle. Great question!

This is one of the top challenges that I run into with baby boomers who I work with in personal training. They want to exercise and be healthy, but they lack the motivation to get them going in the right direction. The key to this, I believe, is in having a strong reason for why you are going to exercise. You need to feel and believe it, so that the motivation from it not only gets you started, but carries you on. Most people tend to beat themselves up when they have not been active in a while. They may feel guilty, frustrated, overwhelmed, and even feel they are on a path to self-destruction.

The first step in stopping this cycle is to re-invent yourself and remember your dreams. In a past blog post I wrote about reclaiming your identity. What I mean by that is: Who would you be if you were to achieve your goals? Who are you really? Start there! Once you have identified who you really are, it is time to make some goals, both short- and long-term. Examples of short-term goals may be to do weight training three times per week, and go for a 30-minute walk six times per week. A medium-term goal would be to do a 5K, fit into your clothing again, or take a 5-mile hike. Long-term goals are the ones that include losing 50 pounds, wearing a special dress to your daughter’s wedding, completing a marathon, taking an adventurous long hike, or doing a local bike race.

It’s important that you also celebrate your successes on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Just be sure to make them healthy celebrations, rather than junk food rewards. Take a moment each day to write down how your identity is improving and you are moving closer to being your true self. By doing this you will start to reinforce the best characteristics of who you are.

Now, on to the part of overcoming the exercise drought if it has been a while. The first thing to do is get some accountability by hiring a personal trainer. When you do that, you will be more likely to stick with it because you are paying for that service. Here are some additional tips for gaining momentum to get started:

  • Define what success in your exercise plan is going to include.
  • What dreams did you give up on and really want back in your life? What are those things that get you excited and motivate you to be your best each day?
  • How do you feel about your starting point? Do you have health concerns, for example?
  • How do you rate your confidence level in reaching your goals? What can you do to improve that confidence level?
  • What can you do to improve your desire to exercise?
  • What are some of the comments that people have made about your health, and how do you view your health?
  • If you could change one thing about your views, what would it be? How would your life be different if you were to do this?

By taking the time to answer those questions, you will have a good starting place. This should put you in a good position to get motivated and start exercising. You only have your health once and the most important thing you can do for yourself is to take care of.

Here is a plan that will keep you motivated CLICK HERE

Boomers, Training, and Olympians

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do baby boomers and the Olympians have in common? For those baby boomers who want to live life to the fullest, a lot! It may seem like baby boomers are just living their lives and going through the motions to some people, but for many of them their heart is filled with the same thing that fills the heart of an Olympian. And I mean beside the blood that’s pumping through it.

I’m talking about passion, drive, and perseverance. A baby boomer who wants to live a healthy lifestyle, train and get fit can learn a lot from an Olympian. No, they don’t have to become an Olympian, but picking up the attitude is going to make a world of difference.

The attitude of an Olympian is passion for what they are doing. They could not put in the time training that is required to make it to the Olympics if they were not passionate about what they were doing. They have a drive that keeps them going. If someone tells them they can’t do something, they push past it and keep going. They continue to persevere at every turn and every time there is a challenge that steps in their way. They don’t come up with excuses. Instead, they come up with plans, routines, and solutions that will take them from where they are to where they want to be, which this year is Sochi.

What does this have to do with baby boomers who want to be healthy? Adopt the same attitude and you will succeed! You have to want it, you have to work for it, and you have to let nothing stand in your way. If you continue on in your journey for the quest to be fit and health you will make it. You won’t let anything stand in your way.

There is a lot at stake for an Olympian. If they don’t make the cut they will have to find another job and the dreams of their passion may die. But there is a lot at stake for a baby boomer, too. If they don’t follow the plan to get fit and persevere, their health is at stake. They will likely experience a weakening of their body as they age, they will have more difficulty getting around, and they will probably not live the quality of life that they want to. Both the Olympian and the baby boomer have a lot at stake and following through with their goals, plans, and workouts are what is going to help them be successful.

Nobody can hold back an Olympian with a goal and a dream. The same can be said for the baby boomer on a mission to be healthy. It’s like the old saying goes… those who want to do something find a way. Those who don’t really want to will find an excuse!

One of the best places to start for your fitness goals is right here.